Sunday, January 27, 2013

#339: Disappointed Bridge

Pittsburgh, PA
Early in the day on June 16th, 1904 in James Joyce's Ulysses, Stephen Dedalus is giving a history lesson to an academically lackluster pack of spoiled rich kids. The lesson is not going over well, sort of the early 20th century Irish equivalent of the economics teacher in Ferris Bueller's Day Off deadpanning, "Bueller? . . . Bueller?" But it does lead Stephen to muse, when no one can answer a simple inquiry about what a pier is, that a pier is "a disappointed bridge."

The tendency to render to inanimate objects human feelings and qualities is something very near and dear to me, and it happens a lot when I contemplate a new set of numbers each week, trying to imagine what these mute images are trying to say to me. And when I look at these numbers, what I see are two 3's and a 9 all striving, with their loopy serifs, to be 8's. Disappointed bridges.

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